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The West Wing
Starring: Jesse Bradford, Paula Graces, French Stewart and Michael Biehn
A teenager obtains a watch which has the ability to speed up a person’s body, making it appear that time has stopped around that person
There isn’t that much to say about ‘Clockstoppers’ really, sadly, though it is quite enjoyable to watch once, that’s pretty much all the viewings you’ll need for this film. I really really wish that this could have been a less benign forgettable film.
It is difficult to be innovative and exciting when you are dealing with one of the oldest concepts in Sci-fi. Obviously time travsel is a pretty old concept but I am referring to the use of a clock to fast-forward, rewind or stop time. The plot is one of the most forgettable aspects of the film, although we should remember that this was a film that was being marketed towards the young adult market and we all know what happens when they try to do that.
The Quantum Tech Corporation has developed a watch that is capable of speeding up a person’s molecules so that from their perspective time stands still. Henry Gates (Michael Biehn) the head of the QT Corporation plans to use the technology to overthrow the head of the National Security Agency and ultimately take over the world. However there is one bug in the device, after using the watch for an extended period you begin to rapidly age in real time, even though you are no longer experiencing everything as being frozen.
Unknown to Gates, his lead scientist, Earl Dopler (French Stewart), has sent a prototype of the watch to his former collaborator; Doctor Gibbs (Robin Thomas). Purely by chance Doctor Gibbs’ son Zak (Jesse Bradford) discovers the watch and uses it to impress a girl that he likes. Meanwhile Gates has discovered that Dr. Dopler has sent the prototype to his former co-worker and so he sends off some goons to retrieve the watch.From here the film becomes a race against time; Zak must find and warn his father about the QT Corporation and their sinister plans for world domination. Zak and his friends must not only avoid the hired goons they also have to avoid the NSA, as Gates has portrayed Zak and his father as fugitives. Thankfully the watch will give them all the time they need.
This film actually is quite witty, for all the lack of ideas, it sticks to actual science quite well and doesn’t really dumb down as much as you would expect. There are also little things for lovers of science woven into the film. Such as French Stewart’s character name being Dopler; named after the Doppler Effect; this in general applies to sound or light. It’s the effect on the sound you hear as a car passes by yours on a highway.
The acting isn’t fantastic, but most of them are young actors. Although Paula Garces, who plays Zak’s love interest Francesca was 28 when this film was released. Her character is meant to be 16, Jesse Bradford was 23. So it falls into the time honoured tradition of teen films having actors who are in their 20’s.
I’m going to put this out there and say that I enjoy Jonathan Frakes directorial forays. Star Trek: First Contact is by far the best of the Star Trek films and any of the television episodes that he has directed are always good. That’s why I really wish this film had gone a lot better. I was expecting more from Jonathan Frakes but alas I was let down.
I think this is the kind of film that you would probably enjoy watching if you are a teenager who really loves sci-fi films, but you probably won’t watch it again.